Johns Hopkins develops groundbreaking prosthetics procedure
A groundbreaking procedure allows amputees to attach prosthetic limbs directly to their residual limbs.
Michael McLoughlin, an engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said,"This accomplishment has eliminated one of the biggest gaps in prosthetic development: the socket." The socket is the part of a prosthesis attached to the body. Incorrect fits lead to pain and injury.
Some of the best sockets can be unpleasant and uncomfortable due to problems with weight, heat, and chafing, just to name a few. Johns Hopkins' solution is a procedure called "osseointegration." A press release issued by the university describes the steps, "...first, a threaded titanium implant called a fixture is inserted into the marrow space of the bone of the residual limb; over time, the fixture becomes part of the bone.
Several weeks after the first surgery, a titanium extension known as an abutment is attached to the fixture and brought out through the soft tissues and skin. The prosthesis can then be directly attached to the abutment."
Johnny Matheny, his left arm amputated in 2008, was the first to try the new procedure. He said, "It's all natural now. Nothing is holding me down."
See photos of the remarkable prosthetic: